Black Graphic Birthday Card

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Monday, my readers! I hope you had a great weekend! My sister's birthday is this week, so I pulled out my card-making supplies to make her a card and just couldn't turn the creativity off! I ended up making four cards - one of them being this graphic birthday card!

I was inspired by this week's My Favorite Things sketch:

I'm not sure if this will be the card I send to my sister, but I'd better decide soon as I only have a day to get it into the mail! Whoops!

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Eek! It's a Spider! {Free Silhouette Cut File}

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I am so grateful to all the wonderful designers, bloggers, and creative folks out there who create and share free cut files for the Silhouette. It's not that there aren't thousands of designs available for purchase, but it's great not to have to spend a bundle to get a great design! My first Halloween card of the season was made with completely free cut files (including the one I am sharing with you today)!

Eek! Halloween Card made with Silhouette Portrait (free cut file included)

I wanted to use a spider web theme, but didn't want it to be scary or gross. I also knew I wanted to use traditional Halloween colors, so when I saw the ColourQ's challenge come up, I knew where I was going to go with this card (love it when that happens)!

I haven't yet done the print and cut with my Silhouette, so I'm a big fan of the sketch pens... except for one thing. They can't fill in text with a solid color like I would be able to with printing. I found a work around for this card, but filling in the design with the sketch pen and then rubbing it off. It gives it a more subtle look, but it helps the white to stand out on the bold orange.

FREE eek Cut File for Silhouette!

To get the eek file for yourself, just click on the link below for the download!

Get this FREE Halloween Silhouette Cut File at It's Always Ruetten

eek file - version 3 (test cuts done with this)
eek file - version 2

To use the files, download the version you need, open in Silhouette Studio, ungroup the image and either use print and cut, or use the sketch pen and not cutting the outer edge, then finish by cutting the outer edge.

Here are the links to the other free cut files I used:

Spider Web - Bird's Cards
Spider - Create Your Everyday Memories

Hope you enjoy, let me know if you have any trouble with the file!

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{Mostly} Slow Cooker Kielbasa & Veggie Medley

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This weekend brought the cooler temperatures to New Mexico. We saw our first freeze of the season and I pulled out another blanket to put on the bed (that Ricky and Odo could barely let me get on the bed before both laying down on it).

I pulled out my (well really Morgan's) Crock Pot and made one of my very favorite cool weather dishes - Kielbasa and Veggie Medley! This dish is almost fool-proof and is so filling, you have to try it!

I've been making this dish for a few years, originally finding a recipe here, that I have since adapted to the recipe I'm sharing today. The best thing about this dish? You can basically change it up to include all ingredients you like; it's very versatile!

1 Polska Kielbasa or Smoked Sausage
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
4 cups (approximately 6 potatoes) chopped red potatoes
2-3 cups fresh (or canned or frozen) green beans
1 cup (if using only 2 cups green beans) chopped carrots

onion, garlic, cabbage, squash

. Peel 3 potatoes and chop into approximately 1-inch pieces, chop the remaining potatoes into 1-inch pieces, rinse and add to crock.
. Cut both ends off of green beans and chop into 1-inch pieces, rinse and add to crock.
. Cut carrots into 1-inch pieces and add to crock.
. Repeat with any optional ingredients.
. Add chicken broth (approximately 2 cups).
. Add water (approximately 2 cups), enough to cover the vegetables.
. Cook vegetables on high for 3.5 hours (until the vegetables are tender and cooked through).
~ Here's where the "mostly" part comes in:
. After 3.5 hours, cut the kielbasa into 1/2 inch discs, then cut them into half circles.
. Saute in skillet for about 15 minutes or until they get browned.
. Once browned, add the kielbasa and drippings to the crock (you want the flavor of the fat).
. Stir and turn the Crock Pot to low.
. Allow to continue cooking until all the ingredients have been well incorporated (30-45 minutes).
. Using a slotted spoon, spoon out the medley and serve with a crusty bread.
. Enjoy!

The saltiness of the kielbasa with the tender vegetables is so tasty. I hope you give this recipe a try! I'd love for you to share your variations with me!

Have a great Tuesday!

{I party with these blogs!}

Balloon Fiesta

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Columbus Day, all! This day off couldn't have come at a better time for me. After getting up two mornings in a row at 4:30 AM to attend the 2014 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! It was more than worth the two early mornings, but it was great to sleep in this morning. 

Balloon Fiesta is best told in pictures, so I hope you enjoy them!

Things start off early at 6 AM with Dawn Patrol. They go up and gather information about the wind speeds at various altitudes.

If all comes back clear from their readings, then the balloonists set up and get ready for Mass Ascension beginning around 7 AM. 

Not only are there the traditional tear drop balloons, but there are dozens of Special Shapes. Can you see the Special Shape in the picture below?

Missed it? It's Owl

Once one Special Shape inflates, it's like a race to get the others up!


Spider Pig
Blue Whale
Aquario | Little Bee Joelly | Little Bee Joey
Airabelle, The Flying Cow

Cent'r Stage (Wells Fargo Stage Coach)

Hope you all have a great day!

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